The TOPS Blog is BACK! After four long years, we are back to share with you some educational, fun, and informative topics provided by TOPS staff and our community partners. We can’t think of a better first topic than Native Plants from TOPS Executive Director, Erika Buri.


Getting Ready for Spring with Native Plants

Now is the perfect time to talk about native plant gardening. While April is Native Plant Month, May is the best time to put things in the ground. It’s also when the most native plants are available to purchase in our region. 

So take the next few weeks to think about what you want out of your native garden. Make a list. Are you attracting pollinators? Do you want to reduce your lawn? Do you want to add natives to your cultivated perennial garden? Do you want to create a rain garden? 

Just like the plants you pick up at the local garden center, native plants have physical attributes that will impact your garden design. What do you want your garden to look like? Will it be more formal or wild and woolly? Do you want seasonal color? How tall do you want the plants to get? 

Finally, you need to consider your soil conditions, sunlight and garden size. These aspects help further narrow down your options. Like all plants, natives have specific soil, moisture and sunlight needs. The size of your garden and what style you decide on will determine how many plants you need. 

With some planning and a little research, you will have all the tools you need for a successful and beautiful native plant garden. Take before, during, and after photos to document your progress. Share them with us and show us what you’ve accomplished!

TOPS partnered with the Toledo-Lucas County Library to create a video about pollinators and native plant gardening last spring. Native plant installation guidelines start at minute 5:25. 

Check it out here: 


Other great resources for native plant gardening in northwest Ohio can be found here:


Native plant sales happen throughout the community in May. Here is information on what’s coming in 2021:

Lucas County Soil and Water District

  • Orders prepaid by May 17, 2021

  • This event takes place annually

  • Keep an eye out for their March plant sale in 2022


Oak Openings Blue Week Plant Sale (hosted by Wild Ones Oak Openings Chapter)

  • Opens May 1, 2021 for online ordering, pay attention to pick up instructions

  • This sale takes place every May, usually during the second week

  • All proceeds go to Oak Openings Green Ribbon Initiative


Friends of Wood County Parks: Plant sale cancelled for 2021

  • Check back in 2022, usually happens the weekend before Mother’s Day


Plants available year-round:

Poppin’ Up Natives ~

  • They are hosting a spring plant sale on May 15 & 16. Check their Facebook page for details.

Toledo Zoological Society: